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Budget 2005: $1.8 million for Work-life Balance

27 April 2005 Media Statement

Budget 2005
$1.8 million for Work-life Balance Initiative

Associate Labour Minister Ruth Dyson has announced that $1.8 million has been committed over the next three years to an initiative to help achieve work-life balance.

Ms Dyson said the Department of Labour will work with participating public and private sector workplaces to identify the issues affecting work-life balance, develop practical tools for implementing work-life balance initiatives
and then evaluate the effectiveness of changes.

The organisations taking part include Feltex Carpets and IndeServe, as well as Child, Youth and Family, the Department of Labour, the Education Review Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Treasury.

"The issues and solutions could include working hours, flexible working arrangements, rostering, retention, training, and out-of-school childcare."

“This initiative has the buy-in of a range of employer and employee groups who can see real benefits for them and their constituents. They include the EEO Trust, Council of Trade Unions, Business NZ, the Chamber of Commerce, the Hospitality Association, Roading NZ, and the Retailers Association.

“Achieving work-life balance is just one of a range of initiatives the Government has in place to assist employees and employers to meet the demands of the current environment.

For employers, it is about addressing skills shortages, retaining staff, and increasing productivity.

Employees are concerned about their caring responsibilities, workplace practices and cultures, and income adequacy.

“Improving our work-life balance is a critical factor in increasing both our quality of life and living standards.”

"Work-life balance initiatives are key to making the public sector an employer of choice. The government, as a significant employer itself, is committed to leading by example. Earlier this month, guidelines were launched for public service employers on how to implement work-life balance initiatives in their workplaces."

ENDS

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